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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 03:56:04 PM   #1
evanr614
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Default Trouble installing rear axle

I just replaced the differential output seal on the passenger side of my M3 and now I cannot get the axle reinstalled. It appears to be too short by about an inch or so. Even if I jack up that corner to about ride height it is still too short. Does anyone have any ideas on what's going on here? It's been a couple of days and I still cannot figure it out. Part number on the axle is 33217839466 so I can confirm it is for the correct side. Any help is appreciated!

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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 11:10:04 PM   #2
Kdubski
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

Passenger and driver side are different lengths. Make sure you ordered the correct one.

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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 11:18:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

33217839466 doesn't appear to be a valid part number. Aren't you just reusing the axle that you had? or did you order a new one?
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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 11:31:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

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Originally Posted by Kdubski View Post
Passenger and driver side are different lengths. Make sure you ordered the correct one.

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Here is the axle I bought. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F323721785184

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
33217839466 doesn't appear to be a valid part number. Aren't you just reusing the axle that you had? or did you order a new one?


I am actually using a new axle I purchased. check the link above. Iíve discovered there are 3 different part numbers for the passenger side rear axles that seem to have superseded each other. I assumed they should all still fit if all M3 rear ends were the same.

http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/33217839466



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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 11:38:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

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Originally Posted by evanr614 View Post
Here is the axle I bought. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F323721785184





I am actually using a new axle I purchased. check the link above. Iíve discovered there are 3 different part numbers for the passenger side rear axles that seem to have superseded each other. I assumed they should all still fit if all M3 rear ends were the same.

http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/33217839466

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33207839468 is what came up in realoem and gave me a hit on ecstuning.

The other part number you listed also showed up in realoem but not in ecstuning.

I seem to remember some play in my axle. DO you have the old axle to compare measurements to? Can you get a couple of the screws inserted and "pull it in".
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Old Mon, Jun-10-2019, 11:44:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
33207839468 is what came up in realoem and gave me a hit on ecstuning.



The other part number you listed also showed up in realoem but not in ecstuning.



I seem to remember some play in my axle. DO you have the old axle to compare measurements to? Can you get a couple of the screws inserted and "pull it in".


I did measure the old one. As far as I could tell they were the same. The last time I tried to start a couple bolts to draw it in, it was using enough force to pull the drive flange right out of the diff. I then double checked multiple times to make sure the lock ring was in and everything. Itís been quite a mystery...


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Old Tue, Jun-11-2019, 12:26:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

You should have to push the CV in to get the axle to fit. If youíre using bolts to draw it in...itís not the right part.

Length will vary depending on the position of the CV joints.


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Old Tue, Jun-11-2019, 12:43:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
You should have to push the CV in to get the axle to fit. If youíre using bolts to draw it in...itís not the right part.

Length will vary depending on the position of the CV joints.


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So I gently tapped the back of the axle into the spline hub on the trailing arm to get it in, is it possible the itís been shortened/damaged? I was very careful and it doesnít look like I did any damage


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Old Tue, Jun-11-2019, 05:15:32 PM   #9
evanr614
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

The only thing I can think of at this point is that when I tapped the axle into the spline it somehow became shorter...
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Old Tue, Jun-11-2019, 05:21:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Trouble installing rear axle

CV joints telescope a bit. Are you able to move the end of the CV in and out and make sure it is in the extended position?

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Discussing Trouble installing rear axle in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)